All these "Inequality will bring down Western Civilization" arguments

And the alternative is exactly what? Radical re-distribution of wealth? No thank you, I don't want any of my stuff redistributed. You want it, you'll have to take if from me and I'll go all 2nd Amendment nutcase on you.

I do not buy the premise of inequality being what will bring down civilization or even a single country. This is because all the well-meaning egalitarians fail to account for one very simple thing - an issue that seems outrageous on paper is much less so in real life and as Victor Frankl said, it is only our individual circumstances that matter to us, not as much our comparison to the circumstances of others. This is why I can feel pretty crappy and thinking about how much better my situation is than that of those who are dying of hunger or being oppressed will not make me feel any better at all.

The point is that when Catherine the Great built the Hermitage or the Winter Palace on the back of serfs in Russia, the inequality between her and those others was expressed as those others dying. As average standard of living increases, inequality is expressed by some driving a Mercedes while others drive a Kia. The outrage that this degree of inequality inspires is just not sufficient to get people out on the barricades. People who "occupied Wall Street" were not the poorest or the most oppressed, they were the ones most morally outraged and moral outrage simply does not have the power to dramatically change societies let alone bring an end to Western Civilization as some predict.

So what if Warren Buffet has 1,000 or 10,000 times as much money as I do? Does that make me want to storm his house and take away his - wait, he really does not have that much stuff and is leaving practically all of his money to charity. And if it does not make me want to go at him with pitchforks or at Bill Gates, why would huddled masses of Kia owners want to start a revolution over even smaller things?

It really does not matter how much money the richest 85 or 500 people in the world have. It is not "right" and one can and should be somewhat morally outraged by it but that is it. No imminent revolution for the folks who feel pretty good about themselves, have more today than they had 10 years ago and generally do not want to die for "equality".


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